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2 Sentenced to Decades in Prison in 1-Year-Old Brooklyn Boy’s Killing

Local2 Sentenced to Decades in Prison in 1-Year-Old Brooklyn Boy’s Killing


Two Brooklyn men identified by prosecutors as members of a violent street gang were sentenced to long prison terms on Wednesday after being convicted in the fatal, stray-bullet shooting of a 1-year-old Brooklyn boy in his stroller at a nighttime cookout in July 2020.

One of the men, Dashawn Austin, was found guilty of second-degree murder last month in the killing of the boy, Davell Gardner. Mr. Austin, 28, of Canarsie, was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison by Justice Danny Chun of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

Justice Chun sentenced the second man, Akeem Artis, 27, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, to 40 years in prison. Mr. Artis was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and other charges last month in the killing of the toddler, who was two months shy of turning 2 when the stray bullet struck him in the stomach. He was New York City’s youngest gun-violence victim in 2020.

“Little Davell never got to celebrate his second birthday,” Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn district attorney, said in a statement. “My heart breaks for his mother and father and all the families and victims affected by such devastating gun violence.”

The deadly cookout shooting was part of a surge of gun violence that erupted in New York and across the United States during the pandemic-scarred summer of 2020.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Austin and Mr. Artis were members of the Hoolies street gang, which claimed the area around a public housing complex in Bedford-Stuyvesant as its territory, and that the shooting that killed Davell came amid a clash with a rival gang.

Mr. Austin, prosecutors said, was seen getting into the passenger seat of a car driven by Mr. Artis that subsequently turned onto a street near the Raymond Bush Playground where the cookout was being held on July 12, 2020. Mr. Austin was then seen firing a gun into the park, striking the boy and three other people.

Mr. Austin was also convicted of three counts of second-degree attempted murder in the cookout shooting, as well as second-degree murder in the killing of a rival at a Brooklyn lounge in March 2020.

Two other men identified as Hoolies members, Jayquan Lane and Travis Scott, were also convicted last month of second-degree murder — Mr. Lane in the killing at the lounge, and Mr. Scott in the fatal December 2018 shooting of a man prosecutors said was another gang rival.

Justice Chun sentenced Mr. Scott, 36, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, to 40 years in prison. The sentencing of Mr. Lane, 31, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, was adjourned until next month.



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